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Old 04-03-2011, 03:41 PM   #1
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It's 2011, why are these not standard safety devices?


I was thinking of a few things that should be standard in every home. Why is it not a standard and even code?

1: Electrical fire stopper: A lot of fires are caused either by faulty electrical, or an electrical device such as a heater, or even a TV going faulty. Before the fire breaks out it may smolder for a bit and the smoke detector may pick it up. There should be readily available smoke detectors that hook up to your breaker panel's main somehow, either a mechanical tripper or an inline cut off, and when it detects smoke, it trips the breaker. This would have a decent chance at possibly stopping the fire, depending on what stage it's in. Even if it's just 30% chance, it's still better then nothing imo.

2: Flood guard: Each water appliance (sink, toilet, dishwasher, shower etc) is connected to a central point, where each pipe is configured for it's use. Basically, a toilet will only use water for a minute at a time, a shower, maybe 30 minutes. If water is flowing for more then the set time without ever stopping, it is cut off assuming a pipe has burst or something is malfunctioning. This device could be smart to detect trends in water usage, depending on how fancy it is but overlal would simply allow you to set times manually. If you take long showers then you'd set it to like an hour. Now if a pipe did burst it will still do damage but at least it will be somewhat limited.

3: CO/gas detector/stopper: CO is caused by combustion appliances such as a furnace or water heater, in most homes. This detector would shut the gas if it detects either CO, or an actual gas leak. This would be more geared if the house is all natural gas/oil or other fuel that is fed through a pipe but I suppose some could also be hooked up to other auxiliary devices such as a damper to close intake air for a wood stove for example.

All these devices would have capabilities to be configured to send an email, SMS etc when they take action on something so if you are not home they still served their purpose by saving your house or pets and notify you so you can take action right away. In fact, nevermind all this fancy stuff, why is it not standard for smoke detectors to have wifi and sms built in? Most people only spend about 20% of time at home. You get the SMS, you can't make home on time so you can at least call the fire department remotely.

The first reason this would never happen is probably because it would cost too much, but imo safety never costs too much. Lot of house disasters / deaths could also be prevented by rather simple devices like these. There is the issue of false positives but when's the last time your CO or smoke detector when off for no reason? It would be worth the minor inconvenience and these devices could be improved to be better over time.

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Old 04-03-2011, 05:47 PM   #2
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It's 2011, why are these not standard safety devices?


#1. you have now created a need for
1. emergency lights
2. in some situations, a generator for back up power for sprinklers

not a totally bad idea though in many situations. The problem is cost. (but that has never actually stopped the NFPA from requiring anything yet). The biggest problem I could see though is many people have a problem cooking without a lot of smoke (not saying they can't cook, there are a lot of reasons you could have smoke when cooking) so now you have somebody cooking at the stove and the lights go out. Not safe (of course the e-lights would take care of that)

#2, so, if I want to take an extra long shower, it stops in the middle?
there are hoses for washing machines that deal with this though as that is probably the single most common cause of house flooding. Fairly expensive to implement this on an entire house scale.

#3, not a bad idea. It is used in commercial and industrial setting for fire alarm systems already. Hooking it to a CO detector sounds quite feasible and beneficial.

you can currently install an alarm system with a call out ability. It can be a monitored system, call the police or fire department, or your own phone if you want.

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Old 04-03-2011, 07:07 PM   #3
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It's 2011, why are these not standard safety devices?


Yeah #2 would be the hardest. You'd want to have higher then normal settings to compensate. So for the shower you would maybe want to time how long it takes to fill the tub, and set it to that. Now, a tub of water, in the basement is quite a lot of damage if a pipe did burst, so maybe it would not work well for that. But stuff like the toilet or the kitchen faucet are more predictable. Now idealy, all types of water appliances could follow a standard where they actually send an electric signal to the controller to release the water, but that would require every water outlet manufacturer to follow this standard, and that is getting really expensive and complex now. Another option is the pressure would be slightly lower at the water outlet, so if there is a pipe burst the flow rate would be abnormal and it would shut off right away. But either way this would not be easy. Have to consider how often a pipe actually bursts, and is it really a large scale problem... probably not.

And yeah for #1 you'd probably need emergency lights. I guess there could be a warning alarm before it trips, but the more time you add the more chance that the fire has already started to flame and it's no longer the electricity feeding it.

I also thought of a FM200 system in a house but it would not be practical if you have pets. The system could be both a fire AND theif deterrent. :D They aren't cheap either.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:08 AM   #4
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It's 2011, why are these not standard safety devices?


1. Dinner's ready because the smoke alarm went off...lights out.

2. I used to water the lawn but the newly mandated flood protectors keep shutting the water off.

3. According to an acquaintance who works for the gas company, most house explosions are actually caused by gas seeping into the basement from leaks outside the house.

Beware the goal of 'perfect safety' because there are way too many people in the government chomping at the bit to give it to you...at a price of course.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:22 AM   #5
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It's 2011, why are these not standard safety devices?


Quote:
mwpiper;622890]

2. I used to water the lawn but the newly mandated flood protectors keep shutting the water off.
RS's suggestion included a timer for specific use such as a bath, kitchen, whatever. Something such as an outside hose bib would have to be more or less unprotected

Quote:
3. According to an acquaintance who works for the gas company, most house explosions are actually caused by gas seeping into the basement from leaks outside the house.
fine but what does that have to do with deaths due to CO? RS was addressing CO problems, not blow up houses.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:31 AM   #6
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It's 2011, why are these not standard safety devices?


sonofagun.... I thought most house explosions were because of meth labs!

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Old 04-13-2011, 08:03 AM   #7
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It's 2011, why are these not standard safety devices?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
I was thinking of a few things that should be standard in every home. Why is it not a standard and even code?

1: Electrical fire stopper: A lot of fires are caused either by faulty electrical, or an electrical device such as a heater, or even a TV going faulty. Before the fire breaks out it may smolder for a bit and the smoke detector may pick it up. There should be readily available smoke detectors that hook up to your breaker panel's main somehow, either a mechanical tripper or an inline cut off, and when it detects smoke, it trips the breaker. This would have a decent chance at possibly stopping the fire, depending on what stage it's in. Even if it's just 30% chance, it's still better then nothing imo.

2: Flood guard: Each water appliance (sink, toilet, dishwasher, shower etc) is connected to a central point, where each pipe is configured for it's use. Basically, a toilet will only use water for a minute at a time, a shower, maybe 30 minutes. If water is flowing for more then the set time without ever stopping, it is cut off assuming a pipe has burst or something is malfunctioning. This device could be smart to detect trends in water usage, depending on how fancy it is but overlal would simply allow you to set times manually. If you take long showers then you'd set it to like an hour. Now if a pipe did burst it will still do damage but at least it will be somewhat limited.

3: CO/gas detector/stopper: CO is caused by combustion appliances such as a furnace or water heater, in most homes. This detector would shut the gas if it detects either CO, or an actual gas leak. This would be more geared if the house is all natural gas/oil or other fuel that is fed through a pipe but I suppose some could also be hooked up to other auxiliary devices such as a damper to close intake air for a wood stove for example.

All these devices would have capabilities to be configured to send an email, SMS etc when they take action on something so if you are not home they still served their purpose by saving your house or pets and notify you so you can take action right away. In fact, nevermind all this fancy stuff, why is it not standard for smoke detectors to have wifi and sms built in? Most people only spend about 20% of time at home. You get the SMS, you can't make home on time so you can at least call the fire department remotely.

The first reason this would never happen is probably because it would cost too much, but imo safety never costs too much. Lot of house disasters / deaths could also be prevented by rather simple devices like these. There is the issue of false positives but when's the last time your CO or smoke detector when off for no reason? It would be worth the minor inconvenience and these devices could be improved to be better over time.
Everything you mention is available right now......... for a price. If the government mandates it, it will be available at a higher price.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:27 AM   #8
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It's 2011, why are these not standard safety devices?


As an otherwise healthy adult there are three things you can do to extend your life: wear seat-belts, have a smoke detector, and don't smoke.

- Seat-belts are in every car, but people don't always use them.

- Twice a year people are reminded to change their smoke detector batteries; yet, I can't tell you how many homes I've been in where the smoke detector is disabled.

- Each pack of cigs is labeled with the risk, everyone born after 1976 is WELL aware of the risks associated with smoking and still 1.3 billion (Billion-with-a-B) smoke.

Common sense and adherence to the rules cannot be regulated. But communicating the message IS important. So, preach on fellow haters of ignorance!
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:35 AM   #9
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It's 2011, why are these not standard safety devices?


Seat belts on a school bus would be a good idea too.... if they can figure out a way to keep the kids buckled in, that is.

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Old 04-13-2011, 08:45 AM   #10
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It's 2011, why are these not standard safety devices?


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Seat belts on a school bus would be a good idea too.... if they can figure out a way to keep the kids buckled in, that is.

DM
Hate to be that girl but..... school buses are one of the safest forms of transportation (7x safer than passenger vehicles). Check out the statistics http://www.ntsb.gov/surface/highway/childseat.htm.

The biggest problems with school buses are that they habitualize kids to riding in vehicles without seat belts and safety while getting on and off the bus.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:39 PM   #11
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It's 2011, why are these not standard safety devices?


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Seat belts on a school bus would be a good idea too.... if they can figure out a way to keep the kids buckled in, that is.

DM

Even when I was a kid and used the school bus, I always wondered why they don't have seat belts.

They are built like tanks though, but you could still get bounced around in one. Guess statistics make it not worth having seat belts, and only half the kids would actually use it, if that.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:47 PM   #12
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It's 2011, why are these not standard safety devices?


There's always the soft, steel bar on the seat in front of you at mouth level....

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Old 04-13-2011, 05:49 PM   #13
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It's 2011, why are these not standard safety devices?


I for one do not want anymore or even the laws in place that tell me how to protect myself from myself. I've made it around the sun over 69 times and have all my fingers, thumbs, toes etc. Leave me alone with all your dumb a-- laws.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:55 AM   #14
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It's 2011, why are these not standard safety devices?


Quote:
Quote:
3. According to an acquaintance who works for the gas company, most house explosions are actually caused by gas seeping into the basement from leaks outside the house.
fine but what does that have to do with deaths due to CO? RS was addressing CO problems, not blow up houses.
RS was discussing "...CO/gas detector/stopper...". Gas does blowup. So my gas comment is not inappropo.

My caution was be careful not to inflict safety devices that become nuisances or hazards in and of themselves. If they become too much of a nuisance, they get overridden and then you have no safety at all.

And of course part of the nuisance with new safety devices is they get the bureaucrats involved, and the crime syndicate of politicians, contractors, trade groups and unions using the plebeian homeowners as their own pet cash cow. All in the interest of safety, of course. It's for their own good. But that's a whole different story.
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:36 PM   #15
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It's 2011, why are these not standard safety devices?


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there are hoses for washing machines that deal with this though as that is probably the single most common cause of house flooding.
Next month I will be constructing a second floor ensuite with laundry facilities. I know the hoses you are talking about Nap and they work well. I also investigated the auto shut-offs from Watts. However...a couple of months ago the people upstairs from me were doing the laundry and nobody noticed right away that a small hose INSIDE the washer had come off the nipple. Water was literally gushing out of my potlights in the hallway and also through the ceiling in my storage area. Glad I was home to catch it. Anyway, the only way I can foolproof my project is to install a Fernco drain and extend the flooring Ditra up the walls about 2"

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